JOYCE — Shoppers going to this weekend’s Great Strait Sale are invited to take in tours and music for the 100th anniversary of the Joyce Depot Museum.
This year marks 100 years since the Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul and Pacific Railroad arrived on the Olympic Peninsula and built the depot at Joyce.
The rails are gone. They were pulled up west of Port Angeles in the 1950s and removed east of the town in the 1980s.
Much of the railroad right of way is now part of the Olympic Discovery Trail, but the Joyce Depot remains.
With their inherent history, train stations and depots invite visitors to reminisce and imagine.
They can’t help but think about what probably happened there, like young men leaving families behind and going to war, lovers’ last kisses and the start of ambitious enterprises and exciting vacations.
The Joyce Depot, built in 1915, was designed to actively promote visits to the Olympic Peninsula.
In particular, Joyce was the jumping-off point for resorts at Lake Crescent and the luxurious Sol Duc Hot Springs.
The primary mission of the track west of Joyce to Twin River and Deep Creek was the support of logging, and the Joyce Museum has artifacts from that era.
Log hauling on the Milwaukee line between the Joyce area and Port Angeles ended in the 1950s.
The tracks were pulled back to the junction with the Spruce Railroad, west of Joyce; the Milwaukee pulled the plug on passenger service in the 1930s.
Curator Margaret Owens says the building saw its last use as a depot in the 1950s.
Since then, it has been a rental house, several restaurants, a church, an antique store and a “gathering place” for the town fathers, whom she says called it “Granny’s Place.”
At the museum
This weekend, the Joyce Depot Museum will be open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The restored depot building houses many artifacts — photos, newspaper clippings and other items — from its past 100 years.
In particular, Owens says, the museum has many logging and farm implements on display.
Of more recent vintage, there are a few items from the former Elwha Dam, a 108-foot-high edifice built 5 miles from the mouth of the Elwha River in 1912 that was dismantled between September 2011 and the following March.
There are also a pump organ, a carriage, fossils, rocks and Civil War memorabilia.
Owens will be on hand for guided tours and stories about the building’s rich history.
Starting at noon, local musicians Terry Kahler, Mike Bare and Ruby Wiggins of “Terry, Mike and Ruby,” as well as Tom Farris, will provide musical entertainment.
All of the performers are members of the Washington Old Time Fiddlers, though attendees also will hear the music of banjos, ukuleles, accordions and other instruments.
Reporter Mark Swanson can be reached at 360-417-3531 or [email protected]